The city of Everett doesn't get mentioned nearly enough when it comes to dining out, but this northern neighbor of Boston certainly has its share of good restaurants and bars (and even more may be coming once the new casino opens in the next couple of years). A couple of favorites that have been mentioned on this site include Nana's, a pizza place and sub shop on Main Street that has a connection to the wonderful Ernesto's in Boston's North End and Somerville's Assembly Row, and Abbondanza, a slightly upscale Italian restaurant also on Main Street on the edge of the up-and-coming "Fermentation District" that is a true hidden gem. A few blocks east of Main Street on the edge of downtown is another hidden spot called 8/10 Bar and Grille which is known to some local media folk (more on that in a bit) but is otherwise little-known outside of the immediate neighborhood. This is a bit of a shame, as this Norwood Street dining and drinking spot has a lot going for it, including some excellent Italian and American dishes, friendly service, and a laid-back environment that makes it well-suited for families, couples, and people looking for quiet conversation.
To those passing through the city, the downtown section of Everett appears to be concentrated around the section of Broadway a few blocks north of the Revere Beach Parkway, and while this is true to an extent, Norwood Street is also part of the downtown commercial district, but it is not all that easy to get to since it is a one-way street leading toward Broadway. Because of this, 8/10 Bar and Grille is very easy to miss to people driving through the center of the city, though it is relatively easy to get to by taking side streets to loop around to the place--or to approach it from Main Street a few blocks to the west. The restaurant itself is set up in a simple fashion, with a bar on the left side with a few TVs set up and a dining area to the right with tables of various sizes, while high-top tables can be found between the bar and the dining section. The place is a little on the dark side, though a bit more light comes into the front of the dining area thanks to the large windows to the right of the entrance. The overall feel of the 8/10 Bar and Grille is that of a restaurant that just happens to have a bar, especially since the music and TVs are kept at a relatively low volume.
While the 8/10 Bar and Grille is considered an Italian restaurant, it seems a bit closer to the steak tip joints found in and around the area--and this is indeed steak tip country, as Everett, Chelsea, and Malden have a number of outstanding spots for tips. The char-broiled steak tips here are certainly a highlight, with the house-made marinade approaching the greatness of such spots as the NewBridge Cafe and Floramo's in Chelsea and Pearl Street Station in Malden and the tips coming with delicious handcut fries (the chicken tips are marvelous as well). Steak lovers also have a solid option on the specials menu with the ribeye, which has just enough marbling to add some great taste to the meat. Meat lovers should also not overlook the incredible meatballs here which are swimming in tomato sauce and are about as good as the ones found at the NewBridge. One of the main reasons to come to the 8/10 Bar and Grille is for the pizza, which leans a bit toward thin-crust Neapolitan and has some pies named after some well-known local folks, with the "Dick Syatt" being topped with eggplant, red onion, ricotta, and garlic oil; the "Eddie Andelman" being a white pizza with onions, sausage, corn, and bacon; and the "Jordan Rich" being a wonderful version of a Shrimp Scampi pizza with garlic, basil, and parsley. The basic pizzas such as the pepperoni, margarita, and meatball are also well worth getting, and calzones are available as well. Garlic is used in abundance in some of the restaurant's menu items, including the tremendous chicken tortellini soup, the classic chicken, broccoli, and ziti, and the savory veal piccata, while other highlights among the appetizers and entrees include some of the best buffalo tenders tried for this site, hand-breaded calamari served with hot cherry peppers and red sauce, savory pastrami reuben eggrolls, a substantial chicken parm with lots of pasta and red sauce, lobster ravioli in a creamy sherry sauce, and a mountain of linguine carbonara that could easily be enough for two. The 8/10 Bar and Grille serves beer, wine, and cocktails, and both food and drink are reasonably priced for the most part.
The upcoming casino and the burgeoning Fermentation District are helping to put Everett on the map, and with it, perhaps people will start to discover such places as the 8/10 Bar and Grille. But for now, it remains a bit of an under-the-radar spot that is tough to find if you aren't familiar with the layout of the downtown area. But if you can find it, expect excellent takes on tips, pizza, pasta, and more in a welcoming, low-key environment.
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